2019 Issue, Feature Article 2019

Environmental Legends: Bang Bang


Cleanup Challenge. CENR Officer Ruel E. Efren delivers his challenge to the people of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur during the #CleanRiverlution #SaveCantilanRiver activity relative to the Caraga Simultaneous River Cleanup on February 08, 2019. (Photo by Johny S. Natad)

I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature,” the infamous author Paulo Coelho once said. Truly, nature is like a wild child. We could never hold it down, but if we put time and effort, we could get along well with it.

The year 2019 came with a bang for everyone in the organization. Series of illegal logging apprehensions came like a whirlwind chasing everyone in their tails. Concerns on solid wastes came down raining like arrows piercing people through the head with their eyes wide open, and in the darkness of dawn came the problems on polluted rivers like a treacherous flood that comes rushing in your deepest sleep. Boiling. The pressure climbing higher and higher. Hot. About to explode. Time to call for help and like in the trending online game Mobile Legends, CENRO Cantilan cried out “request for backup!” Through the leadership of the CENR Officer, the Office reached out to the community. Gladly, the response was astoundingly positive. When all are ready and set, Cantilan bravely declared “launch attack!”

In January 30, 2019 a team from the Office held a Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness (CEPA) Campaign on Republic Act 9003, or The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 at Cantilan National High School which was attended by about 400 students from the institution together with the school’s faculty and staff. The expression of delight and curiosity from the children was awe inspiring. You could tell from their eyes that they have true compassion for the environment. From their young souls radiates the bright future of our nation. February 8, 2019 was a remarkable date. It was when a couple thousands of people from different organizations pledge allegiance to #CleanRiverlution #SaveCantilanRiver. An army of environmental warriors marched in solidarity to save Cantilan River, armed ready for battle with their weapons and good intentions. More than half of the population is from the youth sector.

The real challenge now remains; to make measures SUSTAINABLE. Let us take on that challenge seriously, … where nature and human race could together exist in harmony.

There were 700 ROTC and NSTP students from Surigao del Sur State University. There were also a number of senior high students from St. Michael’s College, and the rest are the different fraternities, sororities, and private and government organizations in Cantilan. Everybody in the municipality worked collaboratively like different parts of a machine in order to achieve the common goal. The scorching heat of the sun did not cause the soldiers to fallback. They kept on even with their large drops of sweat came out pouring. It was all because of that phone call in the wee hours of night. That call from the highest has shaken the entirety of DENR Caraga like a massive earthquake.

At last! The temperature stabilized. Pressure lowered down. Nature is at peace. Psshhh… it went out gushing. Breathe. Pressure relieved. Situation under control.Victory! Another milestone has been achieved. But as someone once said; true success comes not from initiating but from sustaining. The real challenge now remains; to make measures sustainable. Let us take on that challenge seriously, and maybe, just maybe, another day would come where nature and human race could together exist in harmony. (MOL/CENRO Cantilan)

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